SEWARD, Neb. – Junior Lule will continue his run as a member of the Concordia University wrestling program. On Thursday (July 26), the athletic department officially announced Lule’s promotion to a full-time assistant role on head coach Levi Calhoun’s staff. Lule has spent two seasons as a wrestler and two seasons as a graduate assistant within the program.
Calhoun was named head wrestling coach on April 11. An assistant for three years in Seward, Calhoun has both coached Lule and worked with him on staff. Calhoun and Lule will also be joined by new graduate assistant Dmitri Smith.
Wrote Lule in a statement, “This August I will start my fifth year in Seward. It wasn’t easy making the decision to leave my family, friends and comfort zone in California but as I look back, I know that signing with Concordia University was the best decision I made in my life. I’d like to thank my family and friends for all the support they’ve given me over the years, our athletic administration Devin Smith and Angela Muller and Coach Calhoun for having faith in me all the way back to my days as a Concordia student-athlete. Our vision for the Concordia Wrestling Program is to grow in our Faith, achieve our academic goals and continue to raise the bar athletically.”
Originally from Blythe, Calif., Lule attended Palomar College (Calif.) out of Palo Verde Valley High School. He transferred into Concordia prior to the 2014-15 academic year and made an immediate positive impression while contributing to a championship program that put together a streak of 21 GPAC dual victories in a row.
Said Calhoun, “Hiring Coach Lule as our full-time assistant was a no-brainer. He connects well with our student-athletes and has a contagious passion for the sport of wrestling. He brings a positive energy to the room that helps him bring out the best in our guys. I have never seen him do anything halfway. He goes the extra mile in everything that he does, on and off the mat, and motivates his athletes to do the same. One of the biggest things I appreciate about Junior is that he pushes and challenges me to be a better coach and role model for our guys.”
Lule began his collegiate coaching career in 2016-17, a campaign that saw the Bulldogs win GPAC and regional postseason championships for the third year in a row. Lule has been a constant during the most successful run in the history of the program. As a coach the past two years, Lule has helped work with three All-Americans, including 2017 NAIA heavyweight national runner up Ceron Francisco, a former teammate.
During his two seasons donning the Bulldog singlet, Lule went a combined 50-17 overall, twice qualified for the NAIA national championships and won the NAIA North 157-pound title as a senior. Lule garnered second team All-GPAC honors in 2015 and then first team accolades in 2016.
Lule graduated from Concordia with his bachelors in criminal justice. He is finishing up a masters from Concordia in athletic administration.